When I Loved Myself Enough – Poem by Kim McMillen

For many years I lived with a guarded heart. I did not know how to extend love and compassion to myself. In my fortieth year that began changing. As I grew to love all of who I am, life started changing in beautiful and mysterious ways. My heart softened and I began to see through very different eyes. My commitment to follow this calling grew strong and in the process a divine intelligence came to guide my life. I believe this ever present resource is grace, and is available to us all. For the past twelve years I have been lemming to recognize and accept this gift. Cultivating love and compassion for myself made it possible.

The following steps are uniquely mine. Yours will look different. But I do hope mine give voice to a hunger you may share.

Kim McMillen

When I loved myself enough…

When I loved myself enough I quit settling for too little.

When I loved myself enough I came to know my own goodness.

When I loved myself enough I began taking the gift of life seriously and gratefully.

When I loved myself enough I began to know I was in the right place at the right time and I could relax.

When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down way down. And that has made all the difference.

When I loved myself enough I bought a feather bed.

When I loved myself enough I came to love being alone surrounded by silence, awed by its spell, listening to inner space.

When I loved myself enough I came to see I am not special but I am unique.

When I loved myself enough I redefined success and life became simple. Oh, the pleasure of that.

When I loved myself enough I came to know I am worthy of knowing God directly.

When I loved myself enough I began to see I didn’t have to chase after life. If I am quiet and hold still, life comes to me.

When I loved myself enough I gave up the belief that life is hard.

When I loved myself enough I came to see emotional pain is a signal I am operating outside truth.

When I loved myself enough I let the tomboy in me swing off the rope in Jackass Canyon. Yes!

When I loved myself enough I learned to meet my own needs and not call it selfish.

When I loved myself enough the parts of me long-ignored, the orphans of my soul, quit vying for attention. That was the beginning of inner peace. Then I began seeing clearly.

When I loved myself enough I began to see that desires of the heart do come, and I grew more patient and calm, except when I forgot.

When I loved myself enough I quit ignoring or tolerating my pain.

When I loved myself enough I started feeling all my feelings, not analyzing them really feeling them. When I do, something amazing happens. Try it. You will see.

When I loved myself enough my heart became so tender it could welcome joy and sorrow equally.

When I loved myself enough I started meditating every day. This is a profound act of self-love.

When I loved myself enough I came to feel like a gift to the world and I collected beautiful ribbons and bows. They still hang on my wall to remind me.

When I loved myself enough I learned to ask ‘Who in me is feeling this way?’ when I feel anxious, angry, restless or sad. If I listen patiently I discover who needs my love.

When I loved myself enough I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.

My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.

When I loved myself enough I gave up perfectionism that killer of joy.

When I loved myself enough I could tell the-truth about my gifts and my limitations.

When I loved myself enough I quit answering the telephone when I don’t want to talk.

When I loved myself enough forgiving others became irrelevant.

When I loved myself enough I could remember, during times of confusion, struggle or grief, that these too are part of me and deserve my love.

When I loved myself enough I could allow my heart to burst wide open and take in the pain of the world.

When I loved myself enough I started picking up litter on the street.

When I loved myself enough I could feel God in me and see God in you. That makes us divine! Are you ready for that?

When I loved myself enough I started writing about my life and views because I knew this was my right and my responsibility.

When I loved myself enough I began to see my purpose and gently wean myself from distractions.

When I loved myself enough I saw that what I resisted persisted like a small child tugging my skirt. Now I am curious and gentle when resistance comes tugging.

When I loved myself enough I learned to stop what I am doing, if even for a moment, and comfort the part of me that is scared.

When I loved myself enough I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to.

When I loved myself enough I saw beyond right and wrong and became neutral. At first I thought this was indifference; now I see the clarity that comes with neutrality.

When I loved myself enough I began to feed my hunger for solitude and revel in the inexplicable contentment that is its companion.

When I loved myself enough I could see how funny life is, how funny I am and how funny you are.

When I loved myself enough I recognized my courage and fear, my naivety and wisdom, and I make a place for each at my table.

When I loved myself enough I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month.

When I loved myself enough I realized I am never alone.

When I loved myself enough I stopped fearing empty time and quit making plans. Now I do what feels right and am in step with my own rhythms. Delicious!

When I loved myself enough I quit trying to impress my brother.

When I loved myself enough I stopped trying to banish the critical voices from my head. Now I say, ‘Thank you for your views’ and they feel heard. End of discussion.

When I loved myself enough I let the part of me that still misses Kent feel sad instead of trying to stop her from loving him.

When I loved myself enough I began buying a hostess fruit pie for the teenager in me who loves them so. Once in a while, cherry.

When I loved myself enough I quit trying to be a savior for others.

When I loved myself enough I lost my fear of speaking my truth for I have come to see how good it is.

When I loved myself enough I began pouring my feelings into my journals. These loving companions speak my language. No translation needed.

When I loved myself enough I stopped seeking ‘experts’ and started living my life.

When I loved myself enough I came to see how my anger teaches about responsibility and my arrogance teaches about humility, so I listen to both carefully.

When I loved myself enough I started eating organically grown food (except for those occasional fruit pies of course).

When I loved myself enough I could be at ease with the comings and goings of judgement and despair.

When I loved myself enough I was able to be treated to a $50 haircut and enjoy every minute of it.

When I loved myself enough I quit having to be right which makes being wrong meaningless.

When I loved myself enough I learned to grieve for the hurts in life when they happen instead of making my heart heavy from lugging them around.

When I loved myself enough I forgave myself for all the times I thought I wasn’t good enough.

When I loved myself enough things got real quiet inside. Real nice.

When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body. It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.

When I loved myself enough I quit fearing my fear.

When I loved myself enough I quit rehashing the past and worrying about the future – which keeps me in the present where aliveness lives.

When I loved myself enough I realized my mind can torment and deceive me, but in the service of my heart it is a great and noble ally.

When I loved myself enough I began to taste freedom.

When I loved myself enough I found my voice and wrote this little book.

About Alison McMillen, January 2001

About the writer – Alison McMillen talks about her mother, Kim McMillen who died in September of 1996, at the age of 52, only a few short months after writing this book, “When I Love Myself Enough“.  She was not ill and did not know that she was going to die. Her death was very sudden and it deeply shocked everyone who knew her. It has been very difficult for me, as well as her friends and family, to cope with live without her. She died too young, and I am aware of her absence every waking moment. More about Alison McMillen.


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